Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc were voted by the fans as the best drivers of the Turkish Grand Prix following their heroic effort to bounce back after the difficult qualifying session.
Ferrari drivers endured a very difficult qualifying session on Saturday when they were unable to progress from the middle part of the session, leaving Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc with the 12th and the 14th starting position. However, penalties for the McLaren drivers meant that they climbed up the order to start the Turkish Grand Prix from the 11th and the 12th spot.
Following their promising pace on the very slippery resurfaced Istanbul Park on Friday, the team was left puzzled over its issues in the qualifying session. However, the Italians quickly found out what the problem was and felt that it was necessary to get on top of the issue for a possibly wet race.
Having slipped back the order at the start, Leclerc quickly found himself over 40 seconds off the race-leading Racing Point drivers. However, his race was transformed when he fitted a set of intermediates on which the Monegasque began to fly and climb up the order.
Following the difficult start, in the biggest part of the race, the 23-year-old was the fastest driver. In the closing stages, he hunted down Sergio Perez for the second place. On the final lap, the Monegasque tried on overtaking manoeuvre on the Mexican, but he locked a wheel, allowing his rival and even his team mate Sebastian Vettel to sneak past.
"I am extremely disappointed with myself,” added the two-time race winner. „I messed it up in the last corner and there’s not much else to say really, because in the end it’s the result that counts.
„My start was bad, from the dirty side of the track, but then things went better and in the middle part of the race we were extremely quick and I did a good job of catching up with the leading group that had been several seconds in front, but then I threw everything in the bin at the end.
„I am sorry for the team, as we could have finished second today. On the other hand, I am pleased for Seb as he has had a difficult season so far and completely deserves this first podium,” said Leclerc.
Starting from the 11th position, Vettel quickly flew to P3 at the start, avoiding any contact with his rivals. The German could hold on in the initial phase of the race, withstanding the immense pressure from Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton and looked after his intermediates tyres. The Heppenheim-born was set to finish the race in the fifth position, but the fight between Leclerc and Perez allowed him to sneak past his team mate and secure his first podium finish in 2020.
"There are some races that are special, where anything can happen. I think today’s race confirmed that I have a special relationship with Istanbul Park. One could say my Formula 1 career began here and here again, in what has so far definitely been a difficult season, I have managed to finish on the podium for the first time.
„The first lap was incredible. I got away well and with the heavy wet tyres, I had great grip. Then, when we switched to the intermediates, I struggled a bit more. I think the fact there was less water on the track helped and so, in the closing stages I was really quick. In the last few laps I caught Charles and Perez who were fighting."
Vettel said that he could very much understand the frustration his team mate Leclerc could feel following his lock-up on the final lap, but he is sure that the Monegasque will soon bounce back. The German also disclosed that he can see many similarities between himself and Leclerc.
„Charles overtook the Racing Point, but locked up at turn 12, so I went inside and I only just missed out on getting second place too. I am sorry for him and I can understand he is very angry about what happened, because in many ways, I see myself in him. But he is so strong that very soon, this day will be completely unimportant in his mind. He drove a great race,” the quadruple world champion said.